Faulty Charge Port Door Lock Actuator

19th May 2022

Combined VW emblem and Charge port door

When I first got my GTE I noticed that the charge port door didn't lock. It would open and close fine but was never locked. I also didn't get any warning on the dash when the ignition was turned on if the door had been left open.

I investigated and could see that the door was locked in place by an actuator.

Charge port door actuator shaft in closed position (left) and in open position (right).

Access to the actuator was easy. Only 4 torx screws needed to be removed from the top of the black honeycomb grill (with the blue & chrome stripe) which surrounds the emblem. The grill (and emblem) can then be unclipped and pulled forward and away. A few torx screws hold the actuator in place and the electrical connections unplugged.

Charge Port door lock actuator, whilst attached (left) and removed (right).
(Click for larger photo.)

My car's actuator (part number is 5GE810773B) appeared to be dead. New, genuine replacements didn't appear to be hard to come by, nor expensive, but were often poorly described, e.g. Throttle Control Element. I managed to pickup a new genuine part online for about £36.

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Once installed, the charge port door now locks/unlocks in sync with the car's doors. Also, I now get a warning on the dash if I try to start the car with the charge port door open.

Dissection of faulty actuator

I couldn't stop myself from dissecting the old actuator to see how it worked and possibly finding out how it had failed. It's a sealed part so I had to cut it open. Once inside it was easy to see what had happened. The motor was severely rusted and seized.

One half of actuator, in locked position (left) with "bolt" pushed into shaft cut-out & in unlocked position (right) with "bolt" retracted.
(Click photo for larger image.)

The actuator is locked in the closed position by the motor rotating a screw which pushes a plastic "bolt" into a cut-out in the actuator's shaft. I didn't see any kind of feedback circuit to the motor so I suspect it is just energised for a fixed period of time to lock, and then energised with reverse polarity for the same period of time to unlock.

Other half of actuator showing the microswitch and the contacts to the motor.
(Click photo for larger image.)

Above the motor and "bolt" in the photos above you can see the metal lever which appears to facilitate the push-to-open and push-to-close latching mechanism of the door. A microswitch housed on the other side of the actuator detects the position of this lever and provides the signal which triggers the "Please check charging port flap" warning on the dash. I couldn't hear any click when the microswitch was pressed so I suspect it too was broken which explains why I didn't get the warning.

This side of the actuator also shows the electrical connections to the motor. There didn't appear to be any inter-connection between the microswitch and motor and so I suspect they operate independently: The 4 electrical connections comprising 2 to the motor and 2 to the microswitch.

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